Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Review at Disney World (Updated for 2022)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of Galaxy’s Edge’s most popular attractions. The ride is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Rise of the Resistance was probably the most highly anticipated attraction in Disney’s history. Fortunately, it lives up to the hype, making it a sought-after experience.

This full review will cover all of the Rise of the Resistance details, including the following topics:

  • What kind of ride is Rise of the Resistance? 
  • Do I need a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance?
  • What if you don’t receive a boarding group? 
  • Expected wait times for Rise of the Resistance after receiving a boarding group.
  • What to expect after entering the queue, ride drops, scare factor, and more. 
  • Does Rise of the Resistance live up to the hype? 

So, brace yourself, because it’s time to learn how to become the next up-and-coming Resistance leader. Or maybe just your family’s hero because you did the research and succeeded in securing a boarding group on your vacation.

After reading this, if you still think it’s a simple process, may the force be with you a bit more than usual. Unfortunately, Rise of the Resistance causes guests to jump a few hurdles to ride. And so far, the attraction seems to have daily issues that limit capacity even beyond those who have obtained a boarding group. Let me explain.

MAJOR UPDATE: Disney has announced that beginning September 23, 2021, they are pausing the use of the virtual queue system for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Guests can now ride the attraction via the standby line. The announcement states that Disney may still use the virtual queue system for this attraction and others moving forward.

If you don’t want to wait in line, you have the opportunity to purchase Lightning Lane for the attraction. You’ll want to secure a Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance immediately when it becomes available on the day of your visit.

Here is a chart for Rise of the Resistance. It goes over all the need-to-know details.

Star Wars: Rise of the ResistanceHollywood Studios
Location:Galaxy’s Edge
Height Requirement:40″
Disney Genie/Lightning LaneLightning Lane (a la carte purchase)
Ride Type:Immersive, Highly-Themed, Thrill
Seats Per Vehicle:2 rows of 4 each
Rider Switch:Yes
Good For:Everyone who meets the height requirement.
Scare Factor:Medium
Must-Do List:High Priority
Perfect For:Star Wars Fans
Special Mention:It’s worth it.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Review

Rise of the Resistance is the ultimate, top-priority for nearly 100% of guests visiting Walt Disney World. Formerly, guests had to obtain a boarding group to experience Rise of the Resistance.

Now you have the option to experience this attraction via the standby lane or purchase a Lightning Lane to skip the line. Here are the details based on how you are visiting the parks.

  • Resort guests that would like the opportunity to purchase Lightning Lane will need to secure one starting at 7:00 a.m. on the day of your park visit via the My Disney Experience app.
  • Additionally, you can use the 30-minute resort early theme park benefit to experience the attraction at the park’s opening.
  • And you most certainly could do both, especially if you have Star Wars fans in your group.

Related: Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort Hotel

  • Guests not staying at a Disney Resort Hotel will have the opportunity to purchase a lightning lane at the park opening. However, they do go quickly. You’ll want to have the My Disney Experience app open and ready to secure one.

Non-Disney Resort guests will have the best opportunity for riding this attraction at the end of the evening versus first thing in the morning. However, if you don’t think you’ll make it in the park all day and can’t get a lightning lane, you’re best bet is to get in line as early as possible.

Related: The Best Off-Site Hotels Near Disney World

*The price for a Lightning Lane to secure Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will vary day to day.

*Remember, at this time in order to visit any of the Disney theme parks, you also must secure a theme park reservation in advance.

Make sure to read that article if you are unsure about the process. Hollywood Studios is the most difficult park to reserve. Therefore, you’ll want to make reservations to enter this park a priority over other parks.

What kind of ride is Rise of the Resistance? 

This attraction is a highly immersive experience, more so than your typical ride. Many people expect Rise of the Resistance to be a roller coaster; however, it isn’t. There isn’t even a track involved.

Trackless ride systems appear to be the latest thing in theme park entertainment. You can expect to encounter trackless rides within Walt Disney World at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and when the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens at Epcot.

After experiencing Rise of the Resistance for the first time, I was blown away by the technology. The ride got me thinking about how far things have advanced into realms I wasn’t even aware of to date.

It’s pretty amazing what they’ve been able to do with the attraction. And I can even see how improvements can and potentially will be added in the future.

When you ride Rise of the Resistance you can expect all of the following: a themed queue, mission-type experience, capture, holding rooms, an interrogation, and a thrilling escape!

If you would like to continue, I’ll walk you through the whole experience below. However, if you don’t want to know the full details, I get it.

I prefer to have limited knowledge of new attractions before experiencing them. That way, I can form my own opinion.

But if you are visiting with children or guests that might be unsure about riding Rise of the Resistance for the first time, the walk-through will help you discern if it will work for your group.

Experiencing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance For the First Time

We have reached the part of this review where I will walk you through the actual ride experience. At this point, you might want to keep reading or elect to visit some other blog posts on the site. But fair warning, you’ll be familiar with the ride in detail if you keep reading.

Due to offering a virtual queue, one would think that Rise of the Resistance might not have a long physical queue. However, the queue is quite lengthy and similar to what you would experience at any other headliner attraction. The first portion of the queue is outside and has a lot of landscaping.

The inside portion of the queue is cave-like as you approach the Resistance Headquarters. There you will be greeted by Rey from the most recent Star Wars series. She appears to guests in the form of a hologram and petitions for your help on the next Resistance mission.

BB-8 makes an appearance as well.

You’ll also see a few other well-known characters.

The doors then open and you find yourself back outside boarding the latest Resistance fleet.

Inside your starship, you’ll be asked to hold on or lean on something to keep your balance. After takeoff, you’ll experience a bit of movement. This is a light simulated motion with minimal gravity loss. I don’t think it would actually bother anyone, but you might not expect it.

Right now, guests are being assigned dots to stand on inside. I enjoyed standing at the back of the ship best so I could see what was happening around us.

The scene changes from flying off the luscious planet, jumping to light speed, and then approaching the Star Destroyer. Think Star Wars movie where you get too close and they pull your ship in for examination. Yeah, big-time trouble!

Here’s the bay where your ship is seized. Things go from exciting to intimidating as you disembark to an army of stormtroopers. While these are animatronics, make sure to pay close attention. Many of them subtly move and offer a lot of realistic features.

Imagine the attraction breaking down right here and spending an hour and half with these guys staring you down.

I guess it’s not the worst place to wait. You will then be called to wait for interrogation and enter the Star Destroyer portion of the queue. As long as everything is operating smoothly, this portion will go by quickly.

Here’s a look at the holding area.

Once inside your containment room, a stormtrooper will be assigned to guard you.

Before long General Hux and Kylo Ren will show up to apply pressure. Thankfully, an issue occurs that causes them to leave you briefly alone.

Just as things can’t seem to get any worse, help arrives! The Resistance has boarded the ship and is breaking you out. They have taken over the system’s mainframe and have secured droids to help you reach the escape fleet.

This baby droid is your new best friend as he whisks you away to safety. You’ll find yourself dipping and dodging through some of the most recognizable Star Wars weaponry.

Expect an elevator-style drop and surprise lift during the experience. Truly, it’s all thrilling, and I am somewhat excited writing about the whole thing.

But when I say thrilling, I don’t mean in a scary way. I can see how the attraction could be intimidating to a smaller child, but I think most will do fine once on board. The drops are tummy-ticklers but not anything like you would expect on a major thrill ride like the Tower of Terror.

Growing up watching Star Wars and being a lifelong fan, I can express to you that it’s like stepping into the set of the movie. And I can only imagine it being somewhat emotional for many guests.

But I digress! I forgot to mention whatever you do, don’t turn around! Storm Troopers are most definitely shooting directly at you!

Next thing you know, the droid has taken a wrong turn and landed you back on the main bridge of the Destroyer.

Kylo Ren is not happy and is determined to put an end to the entire fiasco. Imagine him coming after you and your only protection is a confused droid.

Thankfully, the droid narrowly escapes again, but as you can see Kylo Ren isn’t far behind.

Luckily, a window is blasted out in the process causing Kylo Ren to have to use the force just to stay on board.

While he’s distracted you reach the ship and quickly take off by jumping into light speed. (While exciting, you will remain in your droid vehicle the entire time.)

And next thing you know you are safely back at Resistance Headquarters.

So as you can see there’s quite a lot that goes on during the entirety of the experience. Most guests will be blown away by the technology. But it really takes experiencing the attraction a few times to grasp the entire concept.

With so much going on it can get a bit confusing. The cast members do a good job role-playing as well. These fine touches and extra elements really help make Rise of the Resistance come to life.

And now for the question…

Is riding Rise of the Resistance worth it?

Ultimately, yes and I would try to experience it twice if possible. Since securing the initial boarding group process is no longer a requirement, all guests have the opportunity to ride via the standby line.

If I had not ridden the attraction before, I would definitely purchase the Lightning Lane option. And if I thought I would want to ride it multiple times, I would elect to do the standby line at park opening or the end of the evening. Of course, that would depend on whether I was visiting as a resort guest or not.

So as far as the actual ride, it’s a truly stupendous feat. You will love it!

Final Thoughts on Riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disney has done a really good job with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Fortunately, all guests have the opportunity to ride it now as well. Unless it breaks down. But it seems that most of those initial issues have worked themselves out for the most part.

For more Galaxy’s Edge info check out these other reviews:

Resorts Gal specializes in providing reviews of the Disney World Resorts. If you plan to spend several days at Hollywood Studios during your vacation, you might consider one of these options within walking distance:

Have you had the chance to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? What are your thoughts about this attraction?

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